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Before we begin, let me say that I am an avid professional wrestling aficionado and watch all that I can, whenever I can. However, 2012 was not the year that I took in the most indy and international material so I’m not going to act like this is the definitive best of all the world. I’ll be sticking to the mainstream (WWE, TNA, ROH) for my 2012 honors and awards. Also, I’m not fucking Meltzer. I’m not telling you what is good and what is not. This is just my opinion. I’d love to hear yours if you disagree or have some to add. Don’t be a stereotypical wrestling fan, let’s banter!

Alright, without further ado, Alex Mattis presents:

The 2012 (Mainstream) Rasslin’ Awards

Wrestler of the Year Award:NOC12_Photo_154

1st Place – CM Punk

In 2012, the man reached territory that had been uncharted for the better part of my lifetime. He made the strap seem important again all the while defending that title around the world against a vast range of opponents, having great matches, and remaining one of the best on the microphone. In 2012 CM Punk cemented his place in professional wrestling history.

WM28_Photo_bryan_daniel0612nd Place – Daniel Bryan

Over the span of three days, he became the most over motherfucker in the company. The 18-seconds disaster at WrestleMania turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to young Daniel Bryan Danielson as it led to him becoming an actually player in World Wrestling Entertainment. Tack on an incredible series of matches with Punk in the summer, an outstanding wedding tuxedo, and being part of the most entertaining duo of the year?! The American Dragon had himself quite the 2012.

9844fe71791a8e491fdac71cb9affcdb3rd Place – Kevin Steen

“The Antichrist of Pro Wrestling” had quite the year. He was the first guy to be ROH champion in years that actually seemed different (no disrespect to Roderick Strong or Eddie Edwards). He brought brawling to the forefront of a company built on purity and technique. He consistently had entertaining matches and was the promo man ROH needed. His polarizing persona is also something the independent scene had been lacking as no matter the feeling towards him, each and every fan is passionate about him. Hmm, that John Cena parody shirt is starting to make more and more sense. The final image we saw of Steen in 2012 (a scene of carnage as he stood over El Generico with his ROH world championship held about his head) perfectly summarized the best year this man has had in his career. Love him or hate him, Kevin Steen was one of the most talked-about acts in professional wrestling this past year.

Honorable Mention: Austin Aries, John Cena, The Rock (one match; biggest of the year), Dolph Ziggler

Tag Team of the Year Award:

hell-noTeam Hell No

I think this is the first time in, like, ten years that I haven’t said The Briscoes were Tag Team of the Year… Huh… Anyway, who the fuck saw this coming?! It would have been a faraway though to believe that Kane and Bryan would have solid chemistry in the ring, let alone as a tag team. These two proved to be the proverbial peanut butter and jelly as they’ve seem made for one another. Honestly, who gets hugging over in this day and age? Their, by design, steadily improving teamwork has only given viewers more reason to take them seriously as a duo. In very short time, they have become one of the hottest acts in the company. Team Hell No works just fine, but they will ALWAYS be Team Friendship to me, dammit!

Honorable Mention: The Briscoes (duh), S.C.U.M., Daniels & Kazarian

Feud of the Year Award (Spoiler: It’s A Tie):

!rock-cena-642-1The Rock Vs. John Cena

They had one match and it was the biggest match in the history of the most important professional wrestling company in the history of professional wrestling. That pretty much sums it up.

DSC_7384El Generico Vs. Kevin Steen

It seems that these two can’t produce anything but gold when they are paired together. They were an outstanding tag team, but as rivals have set a modern precedent for feuds that are meant to personify “hate.” They only had the two high-profile ROH matches, but both delivered and both told two powerful (yet different) stories. Well done, you crazy fucking Canadians!

Breakout Star of the Year Award:

775fc8f55616066a234e2bf183d14a70Antonio Cesaro

I’ve been riding Claudio’s jock for quite some time but this was the year that errbody had to take notice. Get acquainted with this face, because I think we’re going to be seeing it for years to come. EUROPEAN UPPERCUT!!!!

Show of the Year Award:

WM pageWrestleMania XXVIII

Honorable Mention: TNA’s Slammiversary X, ROH’s Final Battle: Doomsday *Hearsay Award goes to CHIKARA’s King of Trios event.

Most Confusing Match of the Year Award:

brock triple h art“The Perfect Storm” – Triple H Vs. Brock Lesnar

Not to question the ad wizards in WWE, but did they think this type of match was actually going to work? The bigger questions reside with Triple H who, given his veteran status, should have been able/known to call an audible and switch things up. I guess they were just determined to do it how they saw fit… And apparently will be doing so again in a few months. The crowd heeling on Trips post-match was the most enjoyable part.

The Machinist Award (Most Shocking Physical Transformation):

2193 - bubba_ray_dudley ecw d82a0a32ce596604077e9a7a27f396c4_view bullyrayface_zps32724ae4Bully Ray

It’s refreshing/inspiring to see stuff like this happen in the whacky world of rasslin’. Homeboy could’ve ballooned up to 500lbs and absolutely coasted on small town shows as “The Former ECW/WCW/WWE Champion! Formerly known as ‘Bubba Ray Dudley’” for the twenty years. Instead, he revitalizes his career and gets into, until that time, unfathomable condition. Well played, Raymond.

Most Annoying Wrestler of the Year Award:

HqtxDDavey Richards

We get it, you’re “strong style.” We get it, you can’t cut a promo. We get it, you’re a bully/suffer from Taz complex. We get it, you like to no-show. We get it all, Davey!

The Inaugural Dolph Ziggler Award:

wwe-tlc-2012-results-dolph-ziggler-winsFor outstanding achievement in the field of unadulterated awesomeness, the inaugural Dolph Ziggler Award goes to the Y2J retirer, Mr. Money in the Bank, and the best thing to happen to pro wrestling since Ronnie Garvin and Greg Valentine had a submission match at the Royal Rumble in 1990… Dolph Ziggler! God bless you, you selling machine! We can’t wait to see what 2013 holds!!!